Responsible for one of the most memorable moments in Arkansas basketball history, Scotty Thurman is in his ninth year with the program and his third as an assistant coach under Mike Anderson in 2018-19.
After spending six years as the director of student-athlete development and two seasons as a radio analyst on the Razorback Sports Network, Thurman was elevated to an assistant coach role on May 11, 2016. As a member of the coaching staff, Thurman assists with recruiting, scouting reports, player development and skill instruction.
No stranger to Arkansas basketball, Thurman provided his signature moment in the final minute of the 1994 NCAA championship game, when his three-pointer with 53 seconds remaining secured a 76-72 win over Duke.
Thurman returned to the Razorbacks in 2010-11, after successful professional and business careers to assist the student-athletes associated with the men’s basketball program with their growth as individuals off the court. He was also charged with bridging the gap between Arkansas’ current and former players.
During his six years as director of student-athlete development, Thurman assisted with academics, was a member of the Razorback Foundation’s External Operations Team, participated in the Athletic Director’s Diversity Council and served on the Never Yield steering committee. He was responsible for coordinating and developing programs that enhance personal and career development, along with participating in various community service efforts.
As part of the Arkansas coaching staff, Thurman has done his part to bring the Razorbacks back to national relevance. The program has played in consecutive NCAA Tournaments and posted at least 23 wins in each of the last two seasons.
Last season, Arkansas continued a staple of Anderson-coached teams as part of the “Fastest 40 Minutes in College Basketball” when the Razorbacks led the league in 3-point field goal percentage while ranking second in the league in fewest turnovers, scoring offense and assist-to-turnover ratio. Leading the way were senior guards Jaylen Barford and Daryl Macon, each of whom were named All-SEC and signed NBA contracts.
The Razorbacks posted the seventh most wins in program history in 2016-17, as the coaching staff led the squad to 12 SEC wins for the fifth time in school history and captured six conference road victories, tying the 1994 championship team and the 2015 NCAA Tournament squad for the most in the SEC era. The Razorbacks ended the season 8-3 in their last 11 SEC road contests, the best stretch since the end of the 1993-94 and beginning of the 1994-95 seasons. Arkansas used its second best free throw percentage in school history (.761) to post a 4-0 record in games decided by one possession and a perfect 24-0 mark when leading with two minutes left in the contest.
As a player for the Razorbacks, Thurman’s three years were some of the most decorated in program history, as he helped lead Arkansas to an 85-19 record over that span. The only player in Arkansas history to be named to the All-SEC first team three times, Thurman still ranks 10th on Arkansas’ all-time scoring list with 1,650 points. He continues to hold Arkansas’ single-season record for 3-pointers in a season with 102 and ranks second on the career 3-point chart with 267.
Following his playing days with the Razorbacks, Thurman played 11 seasons of professional basketball overseas in Lebanon, Greece, Cyprus and Italy. His successful pro career came to a close after the 2006 season and he returned to the state to reside in Little Rock. There, he worked in the real estate field and, eventually, began working for Episcopal Collegiate School as Director of Community Relations, as well as being a teacher and coach.
Thurman received a bachelor’s degree from Philander Smith College in 2003 and his Masters in secondary education from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2012.
He and his wife Regina have two children, Scotty Jr., and Romani Elise and one grandson, Isaiah Ashton. Scotty Jr. graduated from Arkansas in the spring of 2016 as a member of the Razorback football team and is now serving as a graduate assistant for the office of student-athlete success at the University of Arkansas.